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The Hidden Treasure Of History

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There was a time where I thought my small hometown of Portage, Pa was nothing more than a few streets that consisted of churches, small town businesses, and homes that housed only about 2,500 people. After many hours of research I have come to find that this small town is actually a hidden treasure of history that is far too fascinating to express. Although the town of Portage, Pa is only 125 years old, it is full of rich history that has shaped the Portage we all know today. Portage would not be the town it is today without the economic successes it had with the coal industry and more importantly the rule it played in the Allegheny Portage railroad. The geography of our town couldn’t have been more perfect to house the railroad with…show more content…
After a few adjustments to plans the building of the railroad began. The railroad was be completed by 1834 and it would be named the Allegheny Portage Railroad; the word portage is from the French word porter meaning “to carry” and Noah Webster defines Portage as “carrying something overland from one body of water to another” (Portage Centennial Book Committee, 1990, p.3-4). The Allegheny Portage railroad would later be added onto the great Pennsylvania railroad that would serve throughout the whole state. So, first came the railroad and then because of the railroad, the growth of this new town began.
Because of the railroad being built on this land that was all dense woodland and the steam engines in this area ran only on wood, the lumbering industry began. Sawmills were build all around the land that is now today Portage. Then with the new founding of coal, coal mines were also being built. This had a great economic impact on this land and in the 1860’s and 1870’s settlers began to flood into this area; most of these settlers were English and German speaking people (Portage Centennial Book Committee, 1990, p.7-8). During this time there was a town called old Portage and a town next to it called New Portage. In 1878 the old Portage would be changed to Portage Township and on October 7, 1890 new Portage
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